Press release

11 Mar 2020 London, GB

Business rates review welcome but housing crisis appears to have moved down agenda

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Adam Holden

Senior Manager, Media Relations, Ernst & Young LLP

Passionate media relations and public relations professional helping to provide insight and clarity to complex business issues. Husband and father to twin boys, and a golden retriever.

Russell Gardner, EY’s Head of Real Estate and Tax Partner, comments on property and real estate measures announced in the Budget:

“In his first Budget, the Chancellor found space to commit to a huge increase in publicly funded construction works. But the housing crisis appears to have moved down the agenda for now. There is significantly more funding but no radical new measures were announced to tackle our housing shortage. Perhaps tomorrow’s announcements on planning reform will be more meaningful.

“The Chancellor was unable to resist the temptation of a Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge for overseas buyers. However, there is little evidence of it doing anything to address our housing problems.

“While we heard about a planned consultation on a fundamental review of business rates, this was pushed to the Autumn. Instead, the key announcement for the real estate industry was a set of short-term emergency measures, relieving the business rates burden for those businesses most likely to be impacted. The major change to business rates that retailers have asked for was deferred.”